Archive | April 9th, 2014

Armenians Wake Up to the Truth: Turkey and NATO Behind Ethnic Cleansing in Lattakia and Kessab

NOVANEWS

NSNBC

The Syrian government stressed that Turkey has regularly facilitated the entry of armed terrorist groups into the Kessab area in Syria’s Lattakia province. An Armenian M.P. who visited Syria is calling on the world to wake up to the fact that thousands of extremists have crossed the Turkish- Syrian border and that missiles were fired from the Turkish side of the border. Armenians, who have long been looking at NATO as an ally and partner realize that the war on Syria, including the renewed ethnic cleansing of Armenian Christians in Syria is part of a long-term NATO strategy.

Syria’s Minister of Information, Omran al-Zoubi, has denounced the Turkish government of P.M. Recep Tayyip Erdogan for regularly having facilitated the entry of armed terrorist groups into the Kessab area in the Lattakia province of Syria.Omran al-Zoubi stressed that the fighters which are crossing the border are not Syrians, but groups of foreign fighters, armed and trained by by Turkey, Gulf-Arab, and core NATO member states.

The Turkish MP, Mehmed Ali Ediboglu, visited the border crossing at Yayladagi after heavy clashes erupted in the region on March 21. Ediboglu stated that the Turkish military allows and controls insurgents moves while they are crossing the border to and from Syria. After Turkish F-16s shot down a Syrian fighter jet over Kassab last weekend, nsnbc spoke with eyewitnesses in Kassab, who reported about the presence of Turkish special forces operation on Syrian territory in cooperation with the Turkish backed terrorist brigades.

Armenians, who have long looked at NATO as an ally and partner, are waking up to the stark reality that core NATO member states, including Turkey, USA, UK and France, hold responsibility for the engineering of the war on Syria, which was planned long before the first protests erupted in 2011.

Statements like that of the former French Foreign Minister, Roland Dumas, who said on nation-wide TV, that top-British officials contacted him more than two years before the first protests to ask whether he would like to participate in ousting the Syrian government with the help of “rebels” had not previously made their way into the Armenian media.

The former French Minister of Foreign Affairs appeared in a TV interview with the French TV Channel LPC, saying:

I am going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me, that they were preparing something in Syria.

Dumas continued, indicating that the subversion and invasion of the Syrian Arab Republic with the help of “rebels” was primarily a British plan, while he carefully avoided implicating himself and France, saying:

This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister of Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate. Naturally, I refused, I said I am French, that does not interest me

“This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned… in the region it is important to know that this Syrian regime has a very anti-Israeli stance.

Consequently, everything that moves in the region…- and I have this from a former Israeli Prime Minister who told me ´we will try to get on with our neighbors but those who don´t agree with us will be destroyed. It is a type of politics, a view of history, why not after all. But one should  know about it”.

Armenian M.P. Calls on World to Wake UP. Arman Sahakyan, an Armenian M.P. who was among a group of Armenian delegates who visited Damascus last week to study the problems of Armenians in Kessab and the Lattakia province issued an appeal written by ethnic Armenians in Kessab. The appeal calls on Armenians and people across the world to wake up to the reality of the situation, saying:

“On Mother’s Day, March 21-2014, our beautiful town (Kessab) was brutally attacked by Al-Qaeda extremists And Al Nusra front that is linked to Al Qaeda. with the blessings and full military and logistical support of the Turkish government.

The appeal stressed that thousands of extremists crossed the Turkish – Syrian border towards Kessab, adding that missiles were fired from Turkey and that residents attempted to defend the town which now is in the hands of the foreign fighters.

The residents of Kessab call on all Armenians and and all of humanity to realize that the Erdogan government stands behind the military campaign, the ethnic cleansing, and the massacres. The Armenian P.M. Arman Sahakyan, and Kessab residents call on the UN and governments of other countries to take action to protect the people in Lattakia province before it is too late.

In an emotional appeal, conveyed by the Armenian M.P., the Kessab residents stressed:

All we want to do, is live. If you ignore this, we all will die a horrible death at the hands of these terrorists, by being butchered in cold blood like many other Armenians in Aleppo, Yacoubiyeh, Ghenemiyeh, and around Syria.

Foreign Fighters, not Syrians: The appeal confirmed and substantiated previous reports about foreign fighters and mercenaries, paid by Turkey, GCC, and core NATO member states, as being the main force behind the war on Syria. The appeal stressed:

Those who you call rebels are extremists who came to Syria for jihad with many nationalities in it like Afghans, Chechen, Saudis etc. Kessabtsis and all of Syria, saw them and were attacked and killed by them. The media can`t hide the truth forever. You can’t manipulate the lives of people forever. Those who you call rebels, were targeting and attacking civilians. Wake up, please.

The town of Kessab is currently in the hands of the foreign fighters. The Syrian Arab Army has launched a military campaign to dislodge the mercenaries, which is being complicated by the presence of Turkish F-16 fighter jets over the area and Turkish special forces which are fighting alongside the foreign fighters and direct artillery, missile and tank fire against Syrian Army positions.

The US State Department stated that it was concerned about the people in Kessab, Lattakia and everywhere in Syria where people are suffering from violence. Meanwhile, the USA provides advanced surface to air and anti tank missiles to the insurgents and maintains a joint intelligence and command structure with the mercenary brigades.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Armenians Wake Up to the Truth: Turkey and NATO Behind Ethnic Cleansing in Lattakia and Kessab

Obama, the Sauds, and Bottomless Hypocrisy

NOVANEWS

obama_saudi_01-300x198

New Eastern Outlook

US President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia confirms what many even causal political observers have begun to suspect regarding recent US political history, that Washington’s values aren’t just nonpartisan, driven entirely by special interests permeating both sides of the political aisle, but are altogether non-existent. To understand why requires an understanding of both US-Saudi relations, not just during the Obama administration, but over the past several decades, as well as a basic understanding of Saudi Arabia itself.

Despite the integral role Saudi Arabia plays in US foreign policy, particularly but not limited to the Middle East, many know very little regarding this nation. American, British, and European media intentionally serve up disjointed reports regarding the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Should ever a complete picture be given to global audiences and the same amount of attention given to the shortcomings of Saudi Arabia as is given toward the perceived enemies of the Western world, clear limitations would be demanded by the public in regards to their respective governments’ relationship with the Saudis until badly needed reform was undertaken.

Saudi Arabia: By Western Standards, a Nation In Need of Reform 

Even the name of Saudi Arabia itself is problematic. It is literally named after the family that has ruled it, uncontested, for decades, the House of Saud. Thus, Saudi Arabia means, “Arabia of the Sauds.” The House of Saud rules the majority of the Arabian Peninsula under one of the last remaining absolute monarchs on Earth. Elections are held, but only for local administrative posts, and even then, half of the population is disenfranchised, as women are entirely barred from voting. In addition to this, women are subjected to a ban on driving and other restrictions based solely on their sex.

Women are not the only victims of the House of Saud’s brand of governance. Those accused of apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorceryhomosexuality, and of course the House of Saud’s political opponents (charged for treason, sedition, or terrorism) face public execution by sword in a place known as “chop-chop square.” Short of execution, prisoners may also be flogged for their alleged misdeeds.

The overall perspective of Saudi Arabia, as seen through the lens of the West’s impressive number of prominent human rights organizations is abysmal. The World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Gender Gap Report (PDF) ranks Saudi Arabia as 127 out of 136 nations in terms of gender parity. Freedom House’s 2014 “Freedom in the World” report (PDF) lists Saudi Arabia as “not free,” while Human Rights Watch’s 2013 World Report (PDF) alleges that Saudi Arabia has suppressed or failed to protect the rights of 9 million Saudi women and girls and 9 million foreign workers. The report also cites thousands of unfair trials and arbitrary detentions.

Based on the given pretexts the Western World has used to justify a belligerent foreign policy toward other nations, it would appear that Saudi Arabia is a suitable candidate to likewise be subjected to sanctions, internal political meddling, and open calls for regime change. Yet for some reason, it most certainly is not. Instead, it is clearly protected by media self-censorship and diplomatic double standards across the West.

While the US recently closed Syria’s embassy in Washington and ordered Syrian diplomats out of the country claiming, “it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime to conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States,” the US gladly continues its close relationship with Saudi Arabia. This is even after revelations have come to light that the Saudis have been funding and arming terrorists listed as such by the very US State Department that shuttered the Syrian embassy in D.C.

Reuters had reported the creation of the Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) in its article, Insight: Saudi Arabia boosts Salafist rivals to al Qaeda in Syria, however, while it mentions Liwa al-Islam as one of the founding members of the new front funded and armed by Saudi Arabia, it fails to mention that Liwa al-Islam has been documented to regularly coordinate with Jabhat al-Nusra, an internationally designated terrorist organization with direct ties to al-Qaeda.

Confirming this is the USInstitute for the Study of War headed by many of America’s foreign policy architects and backed by the West’s most prominent arms dealers, in its 2013 Middle East Security Report 9: The Free Syrian Army” (PDF) stated specifically that, “Liwa al-Islam is known to cooperate with Jabhat Nusra and conduct joint operations,” and that “Jabhat Nusra is the most prominent Salafi-jihadist organization in Syria and is associated with al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Due to the overlap in leadership structures between AQI and Jabhat Nusra, the organization was designated a foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States on December 10, 2012 as an alias for AQI.”

Surely then it should be unacceptable for individuals appointed by a government funding global terrorism to conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States. But for Saudi Arabia, apparently an exception to the rules has been made and it is an exception that has transcended multiple US Presidential administrations from George Bush Sr. all the way to the current US President, Barack H. Obama.

Good for the Goose, Good for the Gander 

In defense of criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, the Saudi Deputy Premier, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, told the U.N. Third Millennium summit in New York that ”it is absurd to impose on an individual or a society rights that are alien to its beliefs or principles. He continued by warning of, “the ramifications of unbridled globalization and its use as an umbrella to violate the sovereignty of states and interfere with their internal affairs under a variety of pretexts, especially from the angle of human rights.”

While Saudi’s Crown Prince may have a valid argument to make, his own nation’s foreign policy is evidently equally “absurd.” The very justification used by the Saudis to interfere in Syria by funding and arming fighters in a bid to overthrow the current Syrian government has been its own desire to impose upon the Syrian people an opposition it finds favorable to its foreign policy and regional ambitions. It is clear that for Saudi Arabia, it is not principles that drives its policy, but rather its policy that selectively uses “principles” as convenient veils to hide behind.
America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is no different. The principles America promotes are but a façade that are selectively applied only when convenient, and abandoned altogether when they serve as an obstruction.

Mr. President Goes to Riyadh 

The London Guardian in its article,Obama lands in Saudi Arabia to help soothe relations with key ally,” portrays US-Saudi relations as tense after growing concern in Riyadh over the US’ alleged attempts at rapprochement with Iran regarding its nuclear program and Saudi disappointment over what the Guardian claims was “Obama’s decision to hold back from using military force against Syria” regarding “its use of chemical weapons.”

Perhaps the Guardian believes readers have forgotten the attempted rush to war by the United States in the immediate aftermath of the chemical attacks in August of 2013 before any evidence was presented to the public. The only obstruction to US military intervention in Syria was not in the White House, but from a war-weary distrustful American public with doubts still lingering over them after similar claims were made before the invasion of Iraq. Both the Guardian’s narrative and the statements made by both the United States and Saudi Arabia appear solely for public consumption with the only exception being that the trip served as a reiteration of “the significance Washington placed on its “strong” ties with the world’s largest oil exporter.”

Obama’s trip, and the theater that accompanied it, was more a dressing for the joint failure of US-Saudi foreign policy in regards to both Syria and Iran. It was an attempt to reset the public narrative while doubling down on covert support for fighters in Syria and attempts to encircle and undermine Iran further. While assurances of America’s commitment to resolving the Syrian conflict are build on a foundation of alleged “human rights” concerns, the “promotion of democracy” and “freedom,” their strongest and most willing regional partner, Saudi Arabia is a land itself devoid of such concerns.

It is clear that principles drive neither America’s nor Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Syria, but rather self-serving geopolitical interests centered on both power and wealth.

Saudi Arabia Must Choose Between Reform & Rapprochement or Eventual Betrayal & Destruction  

Saudi Arabia’s role as the “world’s largest oil exporter” is only one contributing factor to America’s bottomless hypocrisy regarding its relations with the Saudi Kingdom. While some would see US policy dictated by Saudi wealth, it is the regime’s precarious political existence both domestically and internationally, a key feature desired by hegemons when searching for vassal states, that primarily dictates US-Saudi relations. Saudi Arabia’s very existence depends on America’s continued support in terms of economics, defense, and even how the nation is perceived globally. While the West currently shelters Saudi Arabia from the international scrutiny it deserves, this can be changed at any time.

For the Saudis, to continue along this path is dangerous indeed, particularly as their American guarantor’s global influence begins to visibly wane. While it is easy for the current enemies of Saudi Arabia to undermine its stability by exposing the seemingly medieval society it presides over, (the potential exposure of it used by the West as perpetual blackmail) offering the autocratic regime a path toward reform and rapprochement might be more strategically sound. Likewise, Saudi Arabia’s acceptance of that path would appear to be of particularly sounder long-term planning.

Just as was the case with many of America’s other “allies” in the past, Saudi Arabia is a dictatorship awaiting its eventual dagger in the back. It must begin making preparations both for finding new allies, and for the eventual plunge of that dagger, a plunge continued obedience and collusion will only postpone at best.

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Iris Mary Jessie Cremer 10 November 1943 – 2 April 2014

NOVANEWS

It is with great sadness that the CPGB-ML has to announce the death of one of its key founder members, Comrade Iris Cremer. She died peacefully on the evening of Wednesday 2 April, just five weeks after she had been diagnosed with an aggressive and already far-advanced lung cancer. Comrades and family were at her side.

Always there, always inspiring others — an unflappable leader, and a humble servant of the working class.

 

– COMRADE IRIS’S FUNERAL –

For all those who would like to attend Comrade Iris’s funeral, the details are below.

Thursday 17 April, 3.00pm

Mortlake Crematorium, Kew Meadow Path, Richmond, TW9 4EN, [nearest tube: Kew Gardens on the District Line].
Map showing crematorium

All are welcome to join Iris’s family and comrades afterwards at Saklatvala Hall, Dominion Road, Southall, UB2 5AA.
Map showing hall

See the party website for video of Iris paying tribute to her husband Godfrey, another great communist who we lost just two years ago.
CPGB-ML website

 

– RED SAULTE TO COMRADE IRIS –

It is with great sadness that the CPGB-ML has to announce the death of one of its key founder members, Comrade Iris Cremer. She died peacefully on the evening of Wednesday 2 April, just five weeks after she had been diagnosed with an aggressive and already far-advanced lung cancer. Comrades and family were at her side.

Iris leaves behind a daughter, Katt, and a grandson, Fred — along with a host of honorary sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, grandsons and granddaughters to whom she was a mother, sister, aunt and grandmother in all the ways that really count.

Iris’s contribution to the British working-class movement was incalculable. For 45 years she worked tirelessly and without ego, thinking only of what needed to be done and what would bring British workers closer to socialism. To her own convenience or preference, she was utterly oblivious.

Despite the heartbreak of losing her lifelong partner, husband and comrade-in-arms Godfrey Cremer two years ago, Iris never flagged in her commitment or her activity. Quite the reverse in fact — after his death, Iris not only carried on determinedly with her own work but also did everything she could to fill the huge gap that Godfrey had left in our ranks.

As a couple, Iris and Godfrey set the bar high. With a common purpose in life, the strength of their union was reinforced daily, and their shared priority was always to get the work done, come what may. On the morning of their wedding, they were writing a leaflet for a Palestine demo. And on the morning of the day she died, Iris instructed her daughter Katt to hold off calling the ambulance for 40 minutes while acetates for printing the latest issue of Proletarian were printed out. She left home for the last time content in the knowledge that the printing workers could carry on and that the paper would be published by nightfall.

It was Iris and Godfrey’s great sadness to live in a country and at a time when the communist movement was temporarily retreating. Nevertheless, Iris was the stuff that revolutions are made of –dogged, determined, completely single-minded and utterly uninterested in herself. She would have been as at home on the Long March as she was mailing papers and manning literature stalls — no sacrifice or difficulty was too much for her, and nothing made her hesitate in her commitment.

Iris was a hard taskmaster — but because she drove herself far harder than she drove anyone else, and because she never criticised or scolded, she was able to encourage people to work without them realising she had done so — usually with a smile or a kind word, and always with an understanding tone to her voice that made those she spoke to feel special and valued.

Together with Comrade Godfrey, she lived a life that, just as much as anything they read at study classes hosted in the Cremers’ living room, taught a whole generation just what it meant to really be a communist. Their selfless, work-focused home was as warm and welcoming a place as any of us have ever known, and their example lives on in all who had the good fortune to experience their generous hospitality and gentle guidance.

Indeed, in this world of alienation and stress, where so many people are searching fruitlessly to find individual paths to personal fulfilment, Iris and Godfrey had found a formula for true happiness. A shared purpose and a life dedicated solely to that goal and lived entirely for others kept them calm despite the mountains of work that constantly confronted them, and kept them positive and determined despite the apparent enormity of the task they had set themselves.

Iris’s many political contributions are too numerous to be listed here. Having met her close comrades the Brars in the women’s movement in the late 1960s, she went on with them and Comrade Ella Rule to form the Movement of Women for Liberation and then the Association of Communist Workers in the early 1970s.

A committed proletarian internationalist, she opposed British imperial policy in all its forms. In her younger years, she was especially active in the anti-Vietnam war movement, and in her solidarity with the Irish and Zimbabwean armed struggles. Later on, she gave the same dedication to opposing the British imperialist wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria — never giving an inch to the imperialist propaganda that threw so many in the anti-war movement off their course.

Her hatred of imperialism and its divide-and-rule policy meant that she was equally active in opposing racism at home on the streets of Britain. In fact, she gave many years of her life to working for a progressive organisation of which she was not even a member — the Indian Workers Association (IWA-GB) — since she believed that it gave opportunities to bring revolutionary theory to at least some of the masses in Britain at a time when the revisionist CPGB (and later the CPB) and others who called themselves communist were abandoning that task.

Through the ACW, and through her practical support for Comrade Harpal Brar’s work as editor of the IWA’s journal Lalkar, Comrade Iris was part of a small but vital movement to keep Marxist-Leninist science alive in Britain. To this end, she spent a small legacy when her uncle died in 1979 on buying a printing press, to which she and Godfrey were chained from that moment forwards.

From the time of her involvement with those organisations there is hardly a single ACW or IWA leaflet, nor a single issue of Lalkar or of our own party’s paper Proletarian, that Iris did not have a hand in producing. Understanding the vital importance of theoretical understanding as a guide for the working-class movement, she gladly took on any and every practical task to facilitate bringing the knowledge and the masses together — whether writing, laying out, printing, collating, posting or selling on the streets.

No meeting was too small for her to attend, and no potential comrade too marginal to be worthy of her full attention. If she thought it might further the cause of humanity’s liberation, Iris, like Godfrey, was totally unstinting of her time.

She was also a great organiser upon whom a whole host of practical responsibilities rested. Almost every party stall, demo contingent and public meeting in London was run under Iris’s watchful eye — delegating where possible or simply doing herself what needed to be done to make sure that every event was as successful as possible.

For many years she was also one of the main driving forces behind the Stalin Society. The society was formed in 1991 when a group of anti-revisionist communists that included many of our own leading comrades came together in response to the collapse of the USSR, and in opposition to the deluge of anti-Soviet and anti-Stalin propaganda that followed the collapse. Understanding that the attacks on Stalin were in fact attacks on Leninism and on the building of socialism, the society set itself the unfashionable task of defending the world’s first and mightiest socialist state, and of countering the plethora of lies about its achievements and its leadership.

As secretary of the Stalin Society, Comrade Iris for years coordinated its programme, managed the practical aspects of meetings and communicated with the society’s members. She was greatly cheered in her last months to see the establishment of a host of new Stalin Societies around the world. Many of these have been directly inspired by the work of the British society, and all of them are a recognition of the fact that the question of Soviet socialism and Stalin’s leadership of socialist construction is becoming more, not less relevant as time goes by and as the crisis of the capitalist system deepens.

It was the great joy of both Iris and Godfrey’s life to see their long years of struggle come to fruition in the founding of our own party 10 years ago. They had put huge efforts over seven years in the attempt to build Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party (SLP) into a real alternative to the social-democratic left in Britain, and into bringing a Marxist understanding to the party. However, having been eventually expelled by Scargill and his acolytes for this activity, our founding comrades decided that the time was ripe to found a new, truly revolutionary party in Britain.

Long years of even harder work followed, as our small band had to establish a presence on the ground, to develop a consistent policy and analysis that could demonstrate our worth and seriousness to British workers, and to break through the barriers of hostility and suspicion that greeted our arrival on the political scene.

Iris and Godfrey threw themselves into this work. They never doubted that it was the right thing to do, or that it would eventually succeed. In the last weeks of both their lives, the subject to which their conversation turned again and again was the great encouragement they felt when looking at the direction and growth of our party, and at the seriousness and commitment of its new young cadres.

Comrade Iris lived her life for the struggle — she was truly the stuff that revolutions are made of. As we bid a last farewell to one who was a mother, an aunt, a sister and a comrade to so many, we make the only tribute our fallen comrade would ask of us — we promise that the example she set us will strengthen our resolve and that we will continue to struggle until the final victory of socialism in Britain.

Red salute to Comrade Iris Cremer, soldier of the revolution.

 

SEE ALSO: 

Iris and Godfrey (YouTube, March 2013)

Being a British communist — Godfrey Cremer (YouTube, September 2012)

Culture of struggle (YouTube, December 2011)

Katt Cremer on the October revolution (YouTube, November 2013)

Posted in UKComments Off on Iris Mary Jessie Cremer 10 November 1943 – 2 April 2014

Popular Discontent Grows with German Media Lies in Ukraine Crisis

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Why Everyone Should Occupy US 1% Corporate Media: They Lie

An unprecedented wave of anti-Russian propaganda has dominated the German media in the wake of the US- and German-backed coup in Kiev. Leading publications such as Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitun g and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, but also so-called “alternative” media outlets such as the taz (which has close links to the Greens) are loudly demanding military action against Russia, outdoing one another with menacing attacks on Russian President Vladimir Putin who they describe as a new Hitler and aggressor.

This propaganda campaign, reminiscent of the conformist press of totalitarian dictatorships, has so far had a limited effect. Many readers are repulsed by the campaign and have responded angrily. This is reflected in the letters pages of newspaper and online comment pages.

On 19 March the editorial office of the Berliner Zeitung was forced to admit: “German newspapers and radio stations have received bags of letters and readers’ comments complaining about one-sided reporting. Russia’s intervention in the Crimea has been met with a great deal of understanding. The German media, on the other hand, is accused of conducting an anti-Russian campaign.”

Even the conservative Berliner Tagesspiegel noted that 80 percent of the 12,000 readers who took part in an on-line survey regarded official criticism of Moscow as “hypocritical”. A mere 4 percent favored “military intervention by NATO,” or Russia’s exclusion from the G8.

A poll by the ARD television channel, released in early March, found that 82 percent of respondents were against the use of military force against Russia. Two-thirds rejected economic sanctions against Russia.

In letters and comments to editorial offices, many readers and radio listeners refer to the active role played by the US, EU and Berlin on Independence Square, which led to the coup against the elected government in Kiev.

A reader of the Münchener Merkur comments: “In my opinion, the demonstrations in Kiev, with Klitschko to the fore, are controlled logistically and financially by the West (i.e. US and Europe) – the former Treasury Secretary of US President Reagan referred to $5 billion. Since the reintroduction of capitalism in Eastern Europe the US has sought to weaken and isolate Russia, and eliminate it as a superpower.”

The comment continues: “The US and EU have now brought the Baltic States and almost all of the countries of the former Eastern Bloc into NATO and the EU. Now they are going to move ahead with the proposed admission of Ukraine, up to the western border of Russia, and provoke the Russian Black Sea Fleet.”

Many readers are disgusted with the trivialisation of the role of the fascist Svoboda party, and the assertion that the events in Kiev’s Independence Square had something to do with democracy. A number of reports and YouTube videos available on the Internet clearly reveal the role played by ultra-violent fascist forces.

On 10 March the Münchener Merkur published a comment by Dr. K.H.B. who wrote: “The first casualty of war is the truth. It is war, and therefore I believe neither the Russian mainstream press, including state television, nor ours.”

Another reader is outraged by an article in the Thüringer Allgemeine of 18 March; “The annexation of Crimea is reminiscent of [Hilter’s invasion of] Sudetenland” and writes, “Once again the attempt is being made to shamelessly equate Putin and Hitler.”

An angry listener wrote to Radio Germany: “I must tell you that I’m tired of listening to the half-truths and biased reports on everything to do with Russia transmitted by your station. If I am correctly informed Radio Germany is the direct successor to the RIAS radio station, which had a reputation for agitational propaganda. It seems to me you have remained true to your heritage.”

E. P. from Erfurt referred to allegations that Russia is an “aggressor using methods from the 18th Century” as “deliberate slander”.

Concerns over the escalating danger of war are universally felt. H.M., who still hopes that NATO countries will limit themselves to verbal threats, writes that no one is interested in “dying on behalf of the interests of the Kiev extremists. An economic war with the resource-rich Russia would also have fatal consequences for all sides.”

In his letter to the Braunschweiger Zeitung H.S. warns: “Is a war on the horizon? This must be avoided at all costs!”

In response to the article “Merkel warns Putin” in the Badische Zeitung, UK writes: “Attention! Especially in Germany it should be clear: humiliation in bilateral and multilateral policy can have terrible consequences! The humiliating Treaty of Versailles in 1919 were the cause of the Second World War …”

Several listeners of Radio Germany drew direct parallels to the fascist propaganda of the World War II era: “I have the impression that your transmitter is once again calling for a war against Russia. Your station is replicating the megalomania of the Greater German Reich.”

Another comment added, “Whoever listens to the ‘Stahlhelm [i.e. Nazi] station on a daily basis, i.e. the campaign by Radio Germany against Russia, aimed at keeping the public fixated on NATO’s course, then one fears for our security and peace in Europe.”

Posted in UkraineComments Off on Popular Discontent Grows with German Media Lies in Ukraine Crisis

Zio-Nazi spies ‘bugged Peel Commission’ at mufti’s Jerusalem Hotel

NOVANEWS

Iran indicts 15 'American and Zionist' spies

Times of Israel

Israel’s pre-state Haganah military force spied on the meetings of Britain’s Peel Commission in a Jerusalem hotel in 1936-7, and rushed to establish dozens of new Jewish settlements in what was then British Mandatory Palestine in part because they realized the commission would otherwise offer the Jews sovereignty in only a very small section of the Holy Land, a TV report revealed on Saturday night.

The Commission headed by Lord William Peel, which was set up to investigate the causes of unrest in Palestine and wound up recommending the partition of the Holy Land, was headquartered from late 1936 to mid-1937 in what was then the Palace Hotel near the Old City of Jerusalem. The hotel was built by the then mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a fierce opponent of Jewish statehood who would later collaborate with Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

The Haganah planted listening devices in chandeliers in the hotel, the TV report said, exploiting the expertise of two of its officers who had been involved in the building’s construction — an engineer named Baruch Katinka and and a telephone communications expert named Yeshayahu Finesod.

Relatives of the two men and other academics detailed the story to Channel 10 news Saturday night — in a report that coincided with the reopening this month of the Palace, which has been rebuilt at a cost of $150 million and is now renamed as Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Listening in on the commission’s deliberations, pre-state Jewish leaders increasingly internalized that they were likely to be offered only relatively small areas of the contested territory. They therefore despatched Jewish pioneers to take physical control of territory that had already been purchased by the Jewish National Fund in 52 locations in what was known as the “Tower and Stockade” campaign.

The guiding philosophy was that wherever the Jews had established a physical presence, they would be more likely to be given sovereignty under the eventual partition of the British mandatory territory, as proved to be the case with the 1947 UN-backed partition plan.

The report did not specify the content of the overheard conversations, and the relatives of the two named Haganah officers did not offer many details of the eavesdropping operations.

They also said that they had been sworn to secrecy for many years.

The report did highlight the irony that the hotel that was the Zionism-loathing mufti’s pride and joy would prove vulnerable to pre-state espionage activities that helped cement the Jewish presence in the Holy Land.

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Zionist billionaire eyes US presidential purchase

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Sheldon Adelson

By Uri Avnery

There is nothing better than a scandal every week. A juicy scandal excites people, engages the media, takes our minds off matters like war and peace, occupation and apartheid. Like panem et circenses (bread and entertainment) in ancient Rome.

This week we had several scandals to occupy us. Ehud Olmert, a former prime minister, was convicted of taking huge bribes when he was the mayor of Jerusalem. He was paid for approving a monstrous building complex on the highest hill of West Jerusalem, visible from a great distance.

As if this was not enough, Sylvan Shalom, a cabinet minister with half a dozen functions, was suspected of sexual assault. A former secretary remembered that 15 years ago he had attacked her in his hotel room.

With such exciting news to deal with, who can spare the time and energy to think about the crisis in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which never really started at all? The public knows well enough that these negotiations are a farce set in motion by an American administration which does not have the guts to stand up to the hirelings of the Israeli government in Congress and impose anything on Binyamin Netanyahu.

Indeed, if anyone had any illusions about American politics, they were dispelled this week.

Israel’s American pimp-in-chief

The casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, organized a public display of his power.

He summoned to his Las Vegas betting paradise the four most probable Republican candidates for the next presidential elections, in order to choose one of them. All the invitees heeded the summons, of course.

It was a shameless exhibition. The politicians grovelled before the casino lord. Mighty governors of important states did their best to sell themselves like applicants at a job interview. Each of them tried to trump the others in promising to do the Mogul’s bidding.

I wonder how ordinary Americans react to this spectacle of one billionaire – especially a Jewish one – choosing their next president for them.

Flanked by Israeli bodyguards, Adelson grilled the American hopefuls. And what was he demanding from the future president of the United States? First of all and above everything else, blind and unconditional obedience to the government of another state: Israel.

Adelson is one of the richest Jews in the world. He is also a fanatical rightist – not only an American rightist, but also an Israeli one.

While he is now looking for the best American president money can buy, he has already chosen his Israeli stooge. He has done something unprecedented in Israeli history: created an instrument to impose his ultra-right views on the Israeli people.

The pimp’s mouthpiece

For this purpose he has invested large sums of money in a daily newspaper of his creation. It is called Israel Hayom (Israel today), and is literally priceless: it is distributed for nothing all over the country. Its readership is now the largest in the country, threatening the existence of the former No. 1, Yedioth Ahronoth and killing the next one, Maariv.

The sole purpose of Adelson’s paper is to serve Binyamin Netanyahu, personally and politically, unconditionally and unreservedly. This is such a blatant intervention in Israeli politics by a foreign billionaire that it is causing a reaction: all Knesset factions, both rightist and leftist (except the Likud, of course) have signed a demand to put an end to this corruption of democracy…

Las Vegas has now become the capital of American politics. Everything Adelson does is done openly, proudly, shamelessly. I wonder how ordinary Americans react to this spectacle of one billionaire – especially a Jewish one – choosing their next president for them.

We are told that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe and across the globe. In the crazy mental world of the anti-Semites, Jews control the cosmos. And here we have a Jew, straight out of the pages of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, trying to appoint the ruler of the mightiest country on the planet.

Adelson has failed in the past. Last time, he spent huge sums of money on one hopeless candidate, and then on the winning Republican nominee, who was soundly trounced by Barack Obama, a liberal, black abomination. But nobody can be sure that this will happen again. For Adelson, the slogan could well be: “If money does not work, try more money!”

A corrupt system with a Zionist at the pinnacle

The basic problem is that the American political process is totally corrupt. There is no other way to put it.

In order to become the nominee of one major party, and then to be elected president, one needs enormous sums of money. Since the major battlefield is TV, and candidates have to pay for it, these sums get bigger and bigger.

It is nice to think that ordinary citizens can raise these sums with their modest donations, but that is an illusion. Donations of these dimensions can only come from the rich, especially from the very, very rich. (Americans don’t like this revealing word anymore and speak of “the wealthy”. But that is sheer whitewashing.)

The very rich were once called millionaires, then multi-millionaires, and now billionaires. Adelson is a multi-billionaire.

If he [Sheldon Adelson] succeeds in installing his favourite in the White House, the US will become totally subservient to the extreme right-wing in Israel.

A billionaire does not donate a fortune for a presidential candidate for nothing. That’s not how he became a billionaire in the first place. Once he gets his man elected, he demands his pound of flesh, many pounds.

I am told that Adelson wants internet betting to be prohibited, so that ordinary, honest-to-goodness casinos can flourish. But I have no doubt that his right-wing Zionist passions come first. If he succeeds in installing his favourite in the White House, the US will become totally subservient to the extreme right-wing in Israel. He might as well put Netanyahu in the Oval Office. (Now there’s an idea! It just needs a small amendment to the constitution. How much can that cost?)

That would have been OK with me, if Adelson really understood anything about the Israeli-Arab conflict. With the typical arrogance of the very rich, he thinks that he does. Yet it seems that he has not the slightest idea about the roots of the conflict, its history and the acute dangers lurking in our future.

If Adelson could dictate our future, it would spell disaster for our country.

Israeli corruption

Our own political system is not quite as corrupt as the American one, but it is bad enough.

Israeli parties which participate in elections get free TV time according to their size in the last Knesset, with a minimum time reserved for new parties. But that is far from enough for an election campaign.

Parties are limited in the amount of money they may accept from donors and in the amount they are allowed to spend. The state comptroller exercises strict control.

And so we come back to Olmert.

No ambitious politician contents himself with the amounts allowed. Many of them look for tricks to circumvent the comptroller, sometimes reaching the limits of legality, often going beyond. Olmert himself has been suspected several times in the past of using illegal money, but he always succeeded in wriggling out.

As long as huge sums are needed to get elected, corruption will reign supreme.

Contravening the law in this way is a criminal offence, but in the past, the Israeli public did not really condemn it too vigorously. The general attitude was “politicians will be politicians.”

This attitude changed when, for the first time, it appeared that politicians were accepting bribes not for the good of their party, but for the good of themselves. The first major scandal of this kind, uncovered by my magazine [Ha’olam Hazeh] in 1976, concerned Asher Yadlin, a Labour Party leader who had just been appointed governor of the Bank of Israel. It appeared that he took the bribe for himself instead of the party, and went to prison. Since then, many such cases have been uncovered. Several ministers have been sent to prison. One has already served his prison term and is back playing a central role in the Knesset. Ariel Sharon and Avigdor Lieberman escaped from indictments by the skin of their teeth…

Olmert is the latest one, and overshadows all the others because he was a prime minister. The country is shocked. But his long career has been spotted with indictments, from which he was always saved by his lawyers. At first he took money for his election campaigns. Later on he took money for himself.

There is no way to roll back the corruption of the political process in the US – or here – without completely changing the electoral system. As long as huge sums are needed to get elected, corruption will reign supreme.

Until such a reform takes place, the Adelsons and the Olmerts will corrupt democracy.

And the Monster on the Hill in Jerusalem will stand as a warning.

Posted in USAComments Off on Zionist billionaire eyes US presidential purchase

Culture secretary Maria Miller quits over expenses row

NOVANEWS

The government minister responsible for the future of press regulation, Maria Miller, has resigned as Culture Secretary, telling David Cameron the row over her expenses had “become a distraction from the vital work this Government is doing”.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “sad” at the circumstances of her departure and hoped she could make a return “in due course” but was accepting her resignation.

It follows days of mounting public and political pressure on the MP to quit and signs she was losing support among Tory colleagues despite Cameron’s backing.

In her resignation letter, the Basingstoke MP told Cameron she was “very grateful” for his personal support.

“But it has become clear to me that the present situation has become a distraction from the vital work this Government is doing to turn our country around,” she added.

She defended her work on press regulation – which allies have suggested has resulted in a media “witch hunt” against her.

“Of course, implementing the recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson on the future of media regulation, following the phone hacking scandals, would always be controversial for the press,” she wrote.

“Working together with you, I believe we struck the right balance between protecting the freedom of the press and ensuring fairness, particularly for victims of press intrusion, to have a clear right of redress.”

Cameron told her it was ” important to be clear that the Committee on Standards cleared you of the unfounded allegations made against you, a point which has been lost in much of the comment in recent days”.

The standards committee ordered her to repay £5,800 in overclaimed mortgage interest and say sorry on the floor of the House – an apology which has been widely criticised for its tone and brevity.

“As you leave the Government, you should be proud of your service on the Frontbench and in Opposition,” Cameron said – including steering through gay marriage and press regulation.

“I am personally very grateful for the support you have always given me, and which I am sure that you will continue to give.

“I hope that you will be able to return to serving the Government on the Frontbench in due course, and am only sad that you are leaving the Government in these circumstances.”

Labour MP John Mann, who made the allegations against Miller which triggered the standards investigation, said: “About time too.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “Maria Miller should have resigned immediately and when she didn’t resign, Mr Cameron should have shown a bit of leadership and sacked her.”

He said the case had shown the present system – which saw a cross-party committee of MPs dramatically reduce the sum an independent watchdog said Mrs Miller should repay – was “dead and buried”.

“I would like to see David Cameron announce today at Prime Minister’s Questions that that system is going to go immediately and there will be no more self-regulation of MPs by MPs.”

A Tory local councillor in Miller’s Basingstoke constituency said he was “disappointed that it has come to this but on the other hand we have achieved some sort of closure”.

Sven Godesen, who was among those who had called on her to repay the originally-recommended £45,000 or quit, said he hoped she would stay on as MP for the Hampshire town.

“She was and is a good constituency MP and we will all be very happy in 2015 to work to see that she does get re-elected.”

Shadow home office minister Steve Reed said on Twitter: “Cameron’s judgment in question for supporting Maria Miller as she resigns over expenses shame.”

A Labour Party spokesman said: “It is welcome that Maria Miller has finally done the right thing. By resigning, she has recognised that the public expect and deserve the highest standards from politicians.

“Labour said all along that you cannot have one rule for a Cabinet minister and one rule for everybody else.

“That it came to this raises questions for David Cameron, whose judgment has been found wanting. Yet again he has shown himself to be out of touch and a prime minister who only stands up for one of his own.”

Posted in UKComments Off on Culture secretary Maria Miller quits over expenses row

NUJ loses 2,500 members but turns shortfall into £200k surplus

NOVANEWS

Membership of the National Union of Journalists declined sharply from 32,000 in 2012 to 29,500 last year.

The union’s annual report reveals that the number of full-paying members of the union fell from 22,000 to 20,700. Membership of the NUJ has declined steadily since 2006, when it hit 40,000.

The loss in paying members was offset by a 5 per cent increase in subscription fees. This, together with other cost-cuts (including a reduction in staff from 48 to 41) meant the union reported a financial surplus for the year of £218,585.

This compares with a deficit in 2012 of £309,402.

In 2012 the union set itself a target of saving £250,000 a year for a decade in order to amass a surplus of £2.5m (enough to keep the union funded for six months).

The annual report also reveals that the NUJ’s staff pension fund has a deficit of £3.7m (compared with £5.1m in 2012).

The NUJ says about the membership decline in its annual report: “It’s likely this decline will continue for some time as broadcasters and newspapers carry on with cutting workforces.

“It’s ironic that the NUJ is bringing in thousands of pounds in dealing with  compromise agreements for those of our members losing their jobs. It’s a figure we’d gladly see disappear from the accounts if it meant our members were continuing in employment.

“There has been some good news, however, on the recruitment front since the launch of the new website in August 2013…

“In the four-month period from 22 August to 16 December we had more than 1,100 online joiners, including approximately 500 students.”

According to the UK Labour Force Survey the number of people in the UK describing themselves as journalists increased from 65,000 in 2012 to 70,000 in 2013.

The annual report also reveals that the general secretary Michelle Stanistreet was the biggest claimer of expenses among the full-time officials of the union and president Barry McCall claimed the most expenses of anyone on the NEC.

In addition to her £64,389 salary (which was static year on year) Stanistreet’s expenses totalled £20,902 including: £2,146 for phone-calls and broadband, £1,478 subsistence, £2,625 for childcare,£1,943 for entertaining and hospitality and £11,763 for travel.

McCall claimed £10,904 including: £5,325 for travel, £2,415 for accommodation, £970 subsistence and £2,196 for loss of earnings.

Posted in Campaigns, UkraineComments Off on NUJ loses 2,500 members but turns shortfall into £200k surplus

Vatican expresses outrage over Dutch priest’s killing in Syria

NOVANEWS

A file picture taken on February 2, 2014 shows Dutch Roman Catholic priest, Father Frans van der Lugt posing at the monastery of the Jesuit Fathers where he lived in the besieged area of Homs in Syria. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Abu Hamza)

The Vatican on Monday voiced outrage over the killing of Dutch priest Frans van der Lugt in Syria’s central city of Homs, saying he had been “a man of peace.”

“According to his companions, he was taken away by two gunmen who beat him and then killed him with two shots to the head,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

“This is the death of a man of peace, who showed great courage in remaining loyal to the Syrian people despite an extremely risky and difficult situation,” he said.

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans on Monday described the murder as “cowardly,” saying his death should spur efforts to find peace.

“The man who brought nothing but good to Homs, who became a Syrian among Syrians and refused to abandon his people even when things became deadly dangerous, has been murdered in a cowardly manner,” Timmermans said in a Facebook posting.

“Father Frans deserves our thanks and our respect. He must be able to count on our commitment to help end this misery,” Timmermans added.

Van der Lugt spent nearly five decades in Syria, and told AFP in February that he considered the country to be his home.

He was renowned for insisting on staying on in besieged Homs despite daily shelling and dwindling supplies.

A Jesuit, Father Frans arrived in Syria in 1966 after spending two years in Lebanon studying Arabic.

“In this moment of great pain, we also express our great pride and gratitude at having had a brother who was so close to the suffering,” Lombardi said.

The 75-year-old priest warned of the humanitarian suffering of the population in Homs in a video appeal earlier this year, saying people in Homs were living in misery and starvation.

“It’s impossible that we suffer and the world does nothing,” the Catholic priest said, speaking in Arabic.

Christians made up about 10 percent of Syria’s population before the war erupted in 2011. The minority traditionally supported President Bashar al-Assad against the Islamist rebels, a stand for which they have been attacked.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Vatican expresses outrage over Dutch priest’s killing in Syria

How many people died in Syria today?

NOVANEWS
By Raafat Majzoub
The Farewell Chronicles

I’ll take a wild guess and say that my initial reaction is the sameas yours: Ask Google. So I typed in my query, and the search engine had no specific answer. I learned though that the death toll in Syria has surpassed 150,000. I felt nothing.

Headlines and their respective punch-line texts with quick, factual, and to-the-point statistics mean nothing anymore. I believe the media is already aware of the shortcoming of its textual narratives. Nothing else is a valid alibi for its use of ultra-violent imagery except the realization of the impotence of this text, but even these images mean nothing.

They’re fleeting, like everything else, and don’t provide any chance to process, feel or react to current events. It’s not just me, most people I know are quite sad, but it’s the kind of sadness that makes you say, “Uh” slowly with a slightly quaint facial expression as you continue your sandwich, continue your drink, continue your conversation – essentially continue your life like nothing much is going on. And it’s not just me and most of the people I know either. If the rest of humanity is actually affected by the information of what is going on in the world, then the world would have stopped, or at least been interrupted. We would have felt something – anything.

Last week, on the first of April, I wrote a fiction piece instead of my usual non-fiction opinion posts, investing in the parameters of bent truth allowed by April Fools’ Day. It was both exciting and confusing: exciting because I was eager to see how people would react to ‘news’ compartmentalized into a fictional framework, and confusing because this piece seemed out of place.

At the time, there was no tangible supporting argument of why it made sense. The occasion was merely a loophole to write something exciting about my homeland, which has been impossible for a while, and I took it. It was only after it got out there that the pieces starting building up. The reaction I was excited about materialized in different conversations formally and informally. Rania Masri took the conversation to her blog adding that, “Those of us who organize and struggle for justice are typically criticized for knowing only what we don’t want and not discussing what we actually do want; no to this, no to that, yes to what?”

Somehow, the confusing aspect of the piece was not as important as I thought it would be. It’s interesting because fiction was not an obstacle, but a tool for productive social commentary. It gets really interesting when we try to assess our news and media landscape to see where a hybrid piece of fact and fiction fits when what we consider credible news is already fiction.

To get a clear view of current events, some of us have become experts in critical theory, getting news from different sources, cross-checking, and fact-checking the excessive amount of opinion before we consume it as news. The rest of us align ourselves with comfortable fiction, and abide by it as a credible news source. On Lebanese television, people are not necessarily dying in Syria. If they do, it’s not necessarily severe. And if it is, it’s definitely not for the same reasons. All it takes is a click of a button, and the same piece of news is another.

One can argue that at least, this type of chamfered reality kind of fiction that is the base of most of our news outlets is a perspective to the truth as opposed to a complete load of falsities. This may be true, but what’s also valid is that we are at a point where we must rethink why we communicate what we communicate. If it’s a mere transfer of information, it’s obviously not working. If I go up the stairs and ask one of my neighbors, then downstairs to ask another about any current event, I am bound to have two distinctly different answers.

The situation in Syria is because of the barbaric rebels. The situation is Syria is because of the barbaric regime. The situation in Syria is that a lot of people are dying everyday, and not a single model of communication is being able to create a proactive audience out of its spectators to change all of this. I say this knowing that fiction does sound extreme as an alternative model for news, but what’s at stake here is not whether what we communicate is true or false. It is inherently false, so what can we do about it?

One obvious scenario is to create systems of information purification, where additions to the truth are scraped out to reveal bare incidents as content for news. Another is to create contextual content, which could be fiction, to induce the reality we aspire to exist within. I favor the second as an experiment, not as a polished proposal. What I know for a fact is that we’re sick of numbers, of blood in pictures, of analytical reports that hand us knowledge in frameworks that we can only understand intellectually – and forget actively.

In essence, all the information we have now is fiction, so why not use it outside the benefits of institutional agendas and inside the benefits of our common good. I know for a fact that I prefer living in a place filled with people that are more excited to make the news than just read it. Could fiction be a tool for that? Can we trust our audience to differentiate fact from fiction and understand the specific role of each? In these times where media is everywhere, how can we create media that influences, rather than media that recites? If that’s not the role of a news outlet, then maybe that role needs to change.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on How many people died in Syria today?

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